Friday, January 22, 2010

Spiritual Gifts - Giving

This is a series put together to examine the spiritual gifts discussed in Romans 12:3-8. The focus passage is as follows:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Definition: The gift of giving is recognized by one who recognizes their blessings and in turn gives of their time, talents, and resources cheerfully and without hesitation. These people often live a simpler life than they could just so they can give more than the minimal. They see that all that they have is truly God’s, and they truly desire to use it most effectively to serve Him. These gifts are all above and beyond the tithe (10%) that is expected of all believers.

Jesus Models This Gift: Jesus was the ultimate giver as He surrendered His life for all of mankind. In addition to this, He lived meagerly in order to promote His ministry on earth yet still managed to feed thousands while He taught. He also taught frequently on giving and stewardship.

Other Biblical examples of this Gift: The woman with the two mites who gave all she had was highly praised by Jesus in Luke 21:1-4. The Macedonian church was also known for its generosity (2 Corinthians 8:1-2)

Strengths: These people are usually financially responsible and have a great a deal of faith that God will provide. They give joyfully without expecting return on their investment (although God continues to hand out blessings to them exponentially).

Pitfalls: Arrogance works against those in this category. They must fight the urge to feel financially and faithfully superior to those who struggle with this aspect of their faith. They also must not get attached to the idea that they are the sole provider of resources and remember that God is enabling them to be generous.

Ideas of How to Work for God using this Gift: Giving to special funds or offerings to promote those ministries God is leading you to further support. Fund a need such as new equipment for a ministry. Give to a friend in need or a complete stranger who appears down on their luck.

Do You Have This Gift? (ref The Resurgence - Spiritual Gifts)
  • Do you tend to see the needs of others more than other people do?
  • Do you enjoy giving your time, talent, and treasure to others?
  • Do you see giving to a worthwhile project as an exciting honor and privilege?
  • Do you give to the church regularly, cheerfully, and sacrificially?
  • Do you often hear people commenting that you are a generous person?
  • Do you find yourself looking for opportunities to give your money—even when no one asks?

Summary: These people can always be depended on to support a ministry of the church that is God-filled. They provide much-needed resources to reach out to the community and the world-wide mission field. Without the money to perform tasks, those getting their hands dirty would not be able to serve in their capacity.

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